Cool ways to beat the heat this summer.
With the rain that’s been falling throughout the Fraser Valley these last few weeks summer might be the furthest thing from your mind. However summer is fast approaching and now is the time to turn your yard into the perfect summer hangout spot. We have some great ideas on how to prepare your outdoor space and keep cool during the summer heat wave!
Shade Trees – May’s record temperatures is a good indication of what lies ahead for us this summer. The global warming trend has changed the way we plant and prepare for summer here on the West Coast and more and more emphasis is being placed on staying cool. One great way to stay cool and still enjoy the outdoors is to plant shade trees. These types of trees can help to drop the temperature by up to 10 degrees under their canopies. Finding the right spot and maintaining your tree properly are crucial to making sure it thrives and maximizes it’s cooling effects. These trees can also reduce the heat reflected from paved areas, like concrete patios and driveways. As a bonus, shade trees attract and sustain wildlife and trees can even help to increase your property value! For some help on selecting the perfect tree for your yard check out this guide from Brian Minter.
Now that you have created some much needed shade, working plants into the mix will help to not only create some colour and ambience but also promote cooling. You need plants that with thrive in all that new shade and there are plenty of options out there:
Fuchsias love the shade and can help to hold moisture in the areas they are planted. Allowing them to benefit other plants around them. Planted off the ground because of their cascading foliage fuchsias create added shade for the garden life below.
Perilla – plants (Perilla is a herb of the mint family) have great ground cover and offers much of the same benefits of those above. Added bonus is that the plant can be harvested for cooking. For more edible plant options you can find a complete list here There’s bound to be something that works for you!
Cooling Snacks –
Another way to keep yourself cool this summer is to be prepare cold salads, icy drinks and traditional summer treats like frozen yogurt and homemade ice cream. Planting the right edibles like berries, fruit trees and mint you can make all sorts of variations of the above? Check out this simple recipe for deck side Strawberry Mojito’s from Vanilla And Bean. Load up on mint in this recipe, the perfect ingredient for summer as the menthol triggers cold receptors in the skin, producing a cooling effect! Which makes it the perfect excuse to mix up some mojitos!
Hopefully these tips can help to make your summer a cool one!